Greek Life Task Force

SUNY Potsdam Greek Life Task Force Final Report Overview

February 6, 2014

Greek Life has more than 100 years of history at the College, and the Greek Life Task Force feels that there continues to be a place for Greek organizations at SUNY Potsdam into the 21st century. However, in order for Greek organizations to continue and thrive, change is needed. This change needs to be swift and significant, and must be embraced by all stakeholders: active Greeks, Greek alumni, College administrators, faculty and staff. In addition, stakeholders must work together to improve communication. Opening the lines of communication will increase everyone's ability to trust, and will help to eliminate the rumors, speculation and assumptions that appear to be at the heart of many of the problems that were brought to the attention of the task force.

To read the full report, please click here.

Overall findings showed that:

  • A deep mistrust exists between College administration and the Greek community,
  • Greeks continue to engage in problematic behavior,
  • There is a lack of adequate human and financial resources,
  • The Greek community is not well integrated into the College and campus culture,
  • Campus and local communities have a largely negative view of Greeks and Greek Life, and
  • Banned Greek organizations are exacerbating current problems.

The task force's general recommendations are:

  • Greeks must take responsibility for their actions and behaviors, and reevaluate and reaffirm their vision and values, as members of the Potsdam community.
  • Systems and processes must be put in place to empower Greeks, and nurture a culture of accountability and self-governance. Increased alumni involvement is essential to success.
  • Greeks must work with the College to develop more oversight into activities within their organizations and houses.
  • The College should allocate more human and financial resources to Greek Life.
  • The College and the Greek community must work together to educate the campus and local communities about Greeks and promote their contributions.
  • Greeks should be better integrated into campus culture.
  • The campus and active Greeks must work together to eliminate banned organizations.

Selected recommendations:

·The College should:

  • Establish a permanent Greek Life Advisory Board,
  • Allocate more resources to Campus Life / Greek Affairs office,
  • Review current judicial processes,
  • Provide additional training for active Greek leaders, alumni and advisors, and
  • Encourage the expansion of the Greek community.

·Greek organizations should:

  • Reaffirm their values and vision,
  • Decrease incidents of hazing and conduct code violations,
  • Work to change negative stereotypes about Greek through good PR and positive behavior, and
  • Change the current culture of secrecy into one of openness and integrity.

·The campus and Greek organizations should work together to:

  • Create opportunities for Greeks to be involved in campus activities as Greeks,
  • Promote positive messages about the Greek community, both on- and off-campus, and
  • Work together to mitigate the impact of banned Greek organizations.

The task force knows that its proposals and recommendations will involve much work. The task force members are hopeful that all stakeholders, with their abiding love for SUNY Potsdam, will do what is necessary to ensure significant and meaningful change that will enable Greek Life to thrive and the College to prosper, as we enter the next century of Potsdam excellence.

A campus forum to discuss the final report will be organized in the Spring 2014 semester. In addition, a Greek Life information session with task force members will be held during Reunion Weekend 2014.

Please direct any questions or feedback to GreekTaskForce@potsdam.edu.